Anthropologists are starting to question the scientific and historical relevance of the Paleo diet. This new study published in The Quarterly Review of Biology indicates that Prehistoric man was a scavenger, just trying to acquire enough calories to survive.
This new report puts a stop to the Paleo diet craze, adopted by all including celebrities. Its name derives from the Paleolitic Age, a prehistoric period specific to cavemen and stone tools. This diet focuses on one eating pattern, its devotees refraining themselves from eating grains and processed foods. They consume only meat, fish and vegetables.
However, the regime’s motto should not be considered irrelevant. Eating mainly protein and whole foods is a healthy way of living. However, the diet came to life on the principle that humans were at their physical and nutritional peak somewhere between 10,000 and 2.5 million years ago, long before the birth of agriculture. But there is no logic in linking nutritional formulas to ancient man.
It turns out that prehistoric man ate according to the where he was living, without focusing on how food might affect his health. The populations living in northern areas ate mainly meat in comparison to southern populations. Due to longer growing seasons, their diet consisted mostly of plants. So their eating habits varied according to climate, geology and food availability.
Study author, Dr. Ken Sayers commented on this, adding a minor joke:
“Everyone would agree that ancestral diets didn’t include Twinkies, but I’m sure our ancestors would have eaten them if they grew on trees. They were simply acquiring enough calories to survive and reproduce.”
In addition to that, Sayers states that the fruits and vegetables found in that era differ from the ones eaten in modern times.
Another misled idea is to believe that prehistoric man was healthier than modern man. Paleolithic man had a short lifespan (about 30 years), with death causes such as starvation of getting killed by animals, not cancer or other so-called “diseases of affluence.”
Sayers added that some early works were based on the idea that bears’ and pigs’ diets shared common grounds with early man’s nutritional habits. They are all omnivorous diets, based on eclectic feeding strategies that differ according to local conditions. The data he and his team acquired supports the hypothesis.
Although the basis of this diet is a false one, the principle is nothing but healthy. The study focused on correcting the false idea of prehistoric man and his following a healthy diet.
Image Source: The Genius of Ancient Man